Cal Football: Cam Bynum Faces Tough Choice -- Stay or Go Pro

Jake Curtis

Cal cornerback Camryn Bynum faces a difficult decision: Will he enter the 2020 NFL Draft or return to Cal for his final season of college eligibility.

Bynum, a fourth-year junior who redshirted as a freshman, has not decided what he will do, instead noting he is focusing on the Dec. 30 Redbox Bowl game against Illinois. He is scheduled to graduate next fall, so he would fall just short of getting his diploma if he entered the 2020 NFL Draft.

“I’m set to graduate next fall, so I’d be able to play another season if that’s what I decide,” Bynum said this week in the video, “but so far I haven’t thought much about it, still praying about it with me and my family, and still trying to weigh all my options right now. Mainly focus on the game, because we still got another game left.”

(Apologies for the poor lighting in the video.)

The decision will depend primarily on one factor: 

“Just where I’ll get drafted, but at this point I’m not thinking too much about it,” he said. “I haven’t really weighed any options, haven’t had any word from any scouts or anybody, just trying to focus on the game.”

It is difficult to gauge where Bynum might be drafted if he does enter the NFL Draft. None of the many mock drafts littered across the internet mentions Bynum being taken in the draft. That may because those sites expect him to return to Cal for another year.

We found only one site that mentions Bynum at all, and that was drafttek.com, which lists Bynum as the 41st-best NFL cornerback prospect. If that is anywhere close to his actual draft status, he would not get drafted in 2020.

Bynum was a second-team all-Pac-12 selection this year, and he was third on the team in tackles (50) and second in pass breakups (seven) to go along with one interception. He was considered Cal’s best cover corner, and he held his own against the Pac-12’s best wide receivers, even those who had a significant size advantage on the 6-foot, 190-pound Bynum. Last year he had a team-high 10 pass breakups and two interceptions. 

He told the San Francisco Chronicle in November 2018 that he was considering entering the NFL Draft after last season.

“That’s always been my goal, and I’d like to go as soon as possible,” Bynum told the Chronicle last November. “I’m for sure thinking about leaving. If my (draft) grade is high enough and it’s my chance, I have to go. If I stay another year, I risk injuries. If they notice my talents enough to draft me pretty high, I’ll for sure plan on going.”

But this is another year, another draft and another thought process, and he is within reach of graduating. 

If Bynum returns to Cal next season it would help the Bears’ defense considerably. The Bears’ two standout starting safeties – Ashtyn Davis and Jaylinn Hawkins – will be gone, although a number of talented defensive backs will be available.

The fact that Bynum did not know the deadline to declare for the draft seems to confirm his assertion that he has not decided what he’ll do.

It should be noted that the deadline to declare is January 20, not January 24 as suggested in the video. January 24 is the date that NFL teams will be told the names of the players who have declared early for the NFL Draft.

Thirty-two players have already announced they will enter the NFL Draft despite having college eligibility remaining. Here is that list as of today: Early NFL Draft entrants

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